California State University, Dominguez Hills has become the newest Jumpstart early childhood education location in Southern California. Jumpstart Los Angeles County at CSU Dominguez Hills will pair college students with preschoolers at Rainbow Child Development Center and Immanuel Children Development Center in Compton for twice-weekly sessions that will include helping the children with basic language and math skills, reading, and assisting teachers. The corps will also be working with children in the university’s Child Development Center.
Among the first activities the new location will participate in is Jumpstart’s nationwide “Read for the Record” read-a-thon campaign on October 7. Community volunteers are currently being sought to read “A Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats to children at the Dominguez Hills Child Development Center from 9 to 11 a.m. that day. To volunteer to read, call (310) 243-2438. A fundraiser is currently ongoing to raise money to buy books the preschoolers can keep. To donate, visit www.csudh.edu/csl and click “Donate here”.
“We are proud to join Jumpstart in this critically important work,” said Cheryl McKnight, director of the university’s Center for Service, Learning, Internship, and Civic Engagement (SLICE). “It strengthens our commitment to the community and gives our students the chance to enrich their academic experience by giving back in a meaningful way.”
CSU Dominguez Hills joins the nonprofit network of 62 universities nationwide dedicated to addressing school readiness among America’s preschool population. Through the partnership, 30 students at CSU Dominguez Hills will serve 300 hours this academic year as Jumpstart corps members, working to ensure that local preschoolers receive mentoring and encouragement that will prepare them to do well in primary and secondary school, and ultimately college.
Sergio Pineda, Jumpstart at CSU Dominguez Hills site manager, says he recruited corps members who sincerely wanted to help children through a structured curriculum with a focus on literacy, mathematics, and confidence building.
“We’re not going to just be hanging out with the kids,” says Pineda. “We have a mission, and that mission is to have these kids reading by the time they get to kindergarten.”
Jumpstart will utilize the university’s Federal Work-Study (FWS) dollars to pay students, enabling them to finance a portion of their education by performing valuable community service. In addition, some Jumpstart Corps members who do not receive FWS may earn a $1,100 AmeriCorps education award upon completing 300 hours of service.